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1. This sequence illustrates how an oil painting of two Greek mythological harpies is made. The painting starts with a 1×1 1/4″ thumbnail pencil sketch to determine basic composition.
2. Based on the thumbnail sketch, models are photographed and reference on wings of predatory birds is collected.
3. Based on the thumbnail and photo reference, a 5×7″ oil sketch is painted. This will serve as a guide to shape, value and color design in the finished painting.
4. Belgian linen canvas is stretched onto 30×40″ heavy weight stretcher bars.
5. A wash of acrylic raw umber is applied to the canvas. This creates a midrange value to start the painting on.
6. Based on the photo reference, a vine charcoal depiction of the figures is drawn onto the canvas.
7. Acrylic raw umber paint is applied to the charcoal lines to create a stable under drawing.
8. The painting’s total value range, from black to white, is quickly established.
9. The figure’s color and value range is now developed.
10. The figure’s compressed value range and simplified detail is set.
11. The shapes, values and colors of the wings are explored.
12. Changes and development of the wing designs are accompanied by adjustments in the background values and brushwork.
13. Shapes, values, colors and edges are now close to complete.
14. Final adjustments to color, value and brushwork are added. The painting is finished.
15. Detail showing the brushwork and level of detail in the finished painting.